Don's Fly Tying - the Christmas Chironomid

[the Christmas Chironomid]

Deep Lake is almost in the city limits of Vernon, British Columbia. It is however, protected from mass suburbia invasion by rocky outcroppings on a hill bordering the east side of Kalamalka Lake and no road access. Yet this pretty small lake is available to those who are prepared to obtain permission from the Coldstream ranch manager for a two mile hike through their property. Last week I did just this, strapping my float tube to a back pack with waders also tied in and both hands full with fly rods and related fishing gear! Jessie, my yellow Labrador retriever came along to keep any nearby black bears at bay as the ranch manager said that bears had been recently seen in the area.

The long walk in was well worth it as it could not have been a better spring morning with birds singing their joy to all and the sun rippling the leaves in a mirage of greens gently waving in the warm breeze. My first view of the lake was indeed breath-taking as it sparkled in the morning sunshine. It was hard to refrain my lab from jumping in the inviting water as I readied my gear to try for a rainbow trout that I had heard were ready to take a properly presented chironomid. I had brought two fly rods, a sink tip and also a floater equipped with a fourteen foot leader. I secured a twist on strike indicator near the leader - fly line junction and tied a christmas chironomid on the three pound test tippet. After about forty minutes of no action, I began to wonder if the stories were true when suddenly a nice trout leaped near my float tube. I had not seen the line go under but there it was, fast to my chironomid and stripping line at a great rate. Jessie couldn't resist and jumped into the water to join the fray! In spite of this, I landed the bright rainbow and decided that nothing more could add to such a delightful experience! This month, we will review the christmas chironomid so that you can test this fly as well!



I tie most of my chironomids with a few turns of lead wire so that the fly will sink quickly. However, the first step is to pinch the hook barb so that you can slide a white bead to the hook eye. After applying the lead wire just behind the bead, attach the ribbing material, a thin red wire and the narrow olive swannundaze to the hook shank and let this material project past the hook bend. Now wrap the shank with the holographic green tinsel. Next wind the swannundaze rib to the bead, followed by alternating turns of the red wire. Cover the lead behind the bead with a few turns of peacock herl, tie off, cement and you have finished the christmas chironomid!

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